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Most Hospitals now have modern medication on hand which can completely reverse the effects of a stroke - if administered within 3 hours of the occurence of the stroke. Recognizing a stroke, which can be difficult, and getting the victim to the hospital immediately is therefore absolutely crucial to the survival and well being of the afflicted person.
Since an apparently innocent and inconsequential little dizzy spell and stumble can be signs of a stroke, it is essential to see whether it was indeed an innocent little dizzy spell - or a stroke.
Fortunately, even ordinary bystanders can recognize a stroke by asking these three simple questions, which can be memorized by the acronym STR.
S - ask the individual to Smile;
T - ask the individual to Talk - to speak a simple coherent sentence;
R - ask the individual to Raise both arms.
If the person has trouble with any one of these tasks, call call 9-1-1 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher, or better yet, transport the person to the nearest hospital.
These three simple tasks can also be self-administered if a person is alone and has had a dizzy spell or other potential symptom of a stroke.
[The above information was contained in a report presented in February 2003 at the American Stroke Association's (ASA) 28th International Stroke Conference, and news of it can be found on the ASA web site, as well as on the American Heart Association's (AHA)
Common Warning Signs of a Stroke:
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking, or understanding.
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
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